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SA Australian Consumer Law Guarantee on Taps?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by winston wolf, 13 January 2015.

  1. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Having recently purchased 2 taps, I noticed that both from different manufacturers stated that their warranty was void if not fitted by a licensed plumber.

    I can't see anything in the ACL ( Australian Consumer Law Guarantee) that allows an exclusion like this?

    If the failure is not caused by the method of installation, can they deny the claim? What do you think?

    As an example, I fitted a mixer tap and the tap sprung a leak due to corrosion after 10 months. The retailer (Bunnings) agreed to exchange but warned that the warranty should have been refused as I fitted the tap. This tap also failed in the same way after about 9 months but I chose not to try for a new one as it was a cheap tap and I had 20 month total.
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi @winston wolf
    I'll admit that I'm generally distracted eating the sausage sizzle on a Saturday morning when at Bunnings!

    My understanding is as follows:
    1. Each state/territory has its own plumbing laws. For example, in South Australia, the Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995 (SA) (SA Plumbing Act) and its associated regulation, the Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Regulations 2010 (SA) (SA Plumbing Regulation), applies.
    2. Regulation 4 of the SA Plumbing Regulation deals with exemptions to the requirement to be a licensed contractor/tradesperson in relation to certain tasks. Of potential relevance to your question, Regulation 4(5)(a)(iii) of the SA Plumbing Regulation provides an exemption for "plumbing ...consisting of the replacement, alteration, repair, maintenance or disconnection of domestic tapware".
    3. Consumer guarantees under Australian Consumer Law (ACL) such as the guarantee for a product to be of "acceptable quality" can't be waived.
    4. It is possible that some tapware manufacturers have agreed to terms with Bunnings to reject refund requests unless Bunnings can prove (and in turn, require proof from the consumer) that the tapware was installed by a licensed plumber. Given there is no apparent legal requirement for this in SA and assuming that ACL applies to your faulty tapware purchase, you would likely be in a strong position to persuade Bunnings to comply with their obligations under ACL (regardless of any agreement that they may directly have with the tapware manufacturer).
    5. You may wish to contact SA Consumer and Business Services (CBS) if any future issue arises when attempting to return an otherwise faulty tap to Bunnings.
    Hope this helps!
     
    DennisD and winston wolf like this.
  3. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @John R great answer.

    I think this is a false and misleading statement the same a sale items may not be returned.
    The fitting of the item and the quality of the item are separate issues.

    Cheers
     
  4. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

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    Further to John R's third point. It's worth being mindful of section 54(6) of the ACL, that goods won't fail to be of acceptable quality if the consumer fails to take reasonable steps to prevent them from becoming of unacceptable quality and damages them by abnormal use. So for example if you stuffed up the tap when you tried to install it, say with a bit too much elbow grease, then they may have a point there. In any event sounds like that is not the case here.
     
    Sarah J likes this.

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